Lagos State Government yesterday warned residents living in flood-prone areas to relocate ahead of the coming heavy rains.
The state Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Wale Ahmed, gave the warning yesterday during government’s “emergency preparedness sensitization” with chairmen of Lagos Island Local Government and the Lagos East Local Development Areas (LCDAs).
He said the state was expecting heavy rainfall in the course of the year, stressing that it was important to vacate such areas to avoid any major disaster.
Ahmed’s advice came just two days after the state Commissioner for Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, appealed to residents of the state to be conscious of their environment during and after rainy seasons.
The commissioner explained that the government would provide a map showing the topography of lands in the state to all the chairmen of the 57 local Government Councils/LCDAs to enable them sensitize residents in their domains.
“I want to appeal to residents living in flood-prone areas of the state to move immediately. In the first place, they are not supposed to be living in these areas. We are expecting heavy rains and naturally, that will come with floods. Though the government has put so many mitigating measures in place, it is essential that these people move to prevent emergency situations,” he said.
The official said the state government had developed a map identifying the low and high grounds in all the local government areas of the state as a strategy to guard against flood-related disasters.
He explained that the essence of the map was for residents to be informed about the safe grounds in their areas, where they were expected to temporarily relocate in times of flooding.
The commissioner said government had also embarked on massive desilting of drains across the metropolis as a precaution against flooding. He added that it inaugurated Local Emergency Committees in all the local government councils to sharpen government response to emergency situations.
He explained that the constitution of the committees would enable grassroots people to participate in emergency management efforts and be their brothers’ keepers.
The commissioner also noted that the government had concluded arrangements to strengthen the capacity of the committees to enable them to perform optimally.
Responding, the chairman of the Lagos Island Local Government, Mr Saheed Bashua, thanked the state government for integrating the grassroots in the emergency response system of the state, urging the state government to train members of the committees in basic emergency management strategies to enable them to do their work satisfactorily.